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Guidance when forming a Link


Engaging in Global Health : the framework for voluntary engagement in global health by the UK health sector

Published in July 2014, Engaging in Global Health updates previous government guidance in March, 2010. It recognises the value of volunteering, the benefits that arise both professionally and personally and also the benefits that accrue to the NHS as a consequence. 

A key set of principles underpin the framework - that activities are driven by the needs of low and middle income countries, aligned with national, district or local health plans, coordinated adequately, evidence-based and sustainable and developed in partnership.

The Framework takes forward several of the recommendations of the All Parliamentary Group on Global Health and sets out proposed standards in five main areas. 

  • Effectiveness: including the key principles for effective voluntary engagement in global health; 
  • Organisational commitment: including the vital role of UK employers and professional associations; 
  • Support for volunteers: including preparation and support for the whole volunteer journey; 
  • Health values and ethics: the importance of an ethical approach including the values that motivate those who volunteer; 
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning: highlighting the need to assess impact, improve effectiveness and learn from best practice. 

The document provides an essential read for anyone considering or is already involved in a health partnership with a low of middle income country.

Other UK policies on global health 


Learning from the Experiences of Links that have already been established


The Tropical Health Education Trust

The Tropical Health Education Trust is an organisation that helps forge long term links between health institutions in developing countries and their counterparts in the UK .

THET's vision is to build Links between UK health institutions, their associated academic partners such as; medical, nursing and allied health professional schools in UK universities and equivalent health care institutions in other parts of the world.

How Links are developed

Partners identify priorities for strengthening their health services.  THET responds by linking them with a health institution in the UKthat has the knowledge and skills to help them to address these priorities. Once the Link has been established  THET continues to provide advice and support, such as accessing funding, evaluation and networking, and we connect Links with Government strategy.

The Benefits of Links

In some countries its work extends even further. In Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Somaliland and Uganda its work with partners to find new ways of meeting health needs - helping modify ways of working, extend existing services or developing ways of delivering health services. Most, but not all, of these initiatives develop from Links. Guided by its partners, it often focuses on meeting the needs of people who have least access to services e.g. those in rural areas or those affected by neglected health conditions.


Students in Health Partnerships Toolkit

Launched in September, 2018, by a partnership between the Tropical Health Education Trust and Students for Global Health, the Students in Health Partnerships Toolkit provides guidance and ideals for involving students in global health partnerships.






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